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Plumbing is an essential service that everyone needs at some point in their lives. We all have toilets, sinks, showers, or baths that need repairs. Even if you’ve hired plumbers in the past or know plumbers personally, you probably don’t understand just how fascinating the job can be! Keep reading for our list of the top 12 most exciting plumbing facts. We bet you didn’t know most of them!
The Origin of “Plumber”
The word “plumber” comes from the Latin word “plumbum,” meaning “lead.” What does lead have to do with plumbing? Back in the Roman Empire era, the people that built the bathtubs and cleaned the drain systems worked mostly with plumbum (lead). As a result, they were called “Plumbarius.” Over time, the word has evolved, and today we use the terms “plumbing” and “plumbers.”
Plumbing Has Been Around for Awhile
While plumbing may seem like a modern invention, it’s been around for a while. The roots of plumbing can be traced back to approximately 4,000 to 3,000 B.C. Archaeologists discovered water pipes made of copper in palace ruins at the Indus River Valley in India. It’s believed the palace used earthen plumbing pipes to drain waste and transport water. That means plumbers have been around for a while!
Leaky Faucets Add Up
Many people hear a dripping faucet and ignore it as a minor problem. But a leaky faucet that drips every second waste over five gallons of water a day, which adds up to 2,083 gallons per year. This can cost a household hundreds of dollars wasted.
First Indoor Plumbing Hotel
In 1829, the Tremont Hotel in Boston became the first hotel in the United States to install indoor plumbing. Before the Tremont Hotel, establishments in America simply offered their guests chamber pots and privies. Thank goodness for the new trend this sparked!
The first patent for the concept of a flushing toilet was taken out by Alexander Cummings in 1775. Cummings designed the S-shape pipe below the toilet bowl that uses water to create a seal preventing sewer gas from entering through the toilet.
However, Cummings didn’t invent the flushing toilet. Another man named John Harington did in 1596. Harington is the reason another name for the toilet is “the John.”
A company in England, named “Thomas Crapper & Co. Ltd,” made most indoor toilets when they were rising in popularity. The company’s name and logo was displayed on most toilets. After U.S. soldier stationed in England returned home from World War II, they spread the popularity of the slang phrase “the crapper.”
Copper Wire, Everywhere
Since 1963, there has been approximately 5.3 million miles worth of copper pipe installed in homes throughout the United States. That’s enough to wrap around the globe more than 200 times. American plumbers have been busy for sure!
The Super Bowl might just be a busy time for plumbers. Why? In 2019, more than 104 million viewers watched the Super Bowl halftime show. And, the toilet is flushed more during the Super Bowl halftime show than any other time of the year. So, if you’re planning to have a Super Bowl party, we recommend making sure your toilet can handle the extra volume!
Plumbers: The Famous Ones
You’d be surprised to know that a lot of famous people wish they became plumbers. Albert Einstein has a famous quote, “If I could do it all again, I’d be a plumber.”
Some other famous people include:
- Ozzy Osbourne was a plumber’s apprentice
- Comedy legend Roscoe “Fatty’ Arbuckle, who did plumbing work before he was discovered
- Academy award-nominated actor Bob Hoskins, who was a plumber’s assistant before his acting career took off
- A bass guitarist for The Small Faces, Ronnie Lane, worked in plumbing to pay for his guitar
- Joe Crocker, known for being the Wonder Years theme singer and a rock star, was a plumber in his early life.
- Irish dance superstar Michael Flatley owned his own plumbing business before making a career switch
- Academy award-winning actor Michael Caine spent a few years working as a plumber’s assistant and applied for an apprenticeship before being whisked into the acting world.
John L. Sullivan, known as “America’s first sports celebrity,” worked as an assistant plumber before becoming a professional boxer.
Flushing Money Down the Toilet
Low-flush toilets have become all the rage with modern homes today. Not only are there environmental benefits, but a low-flush toilet can also save a household up to 18,000 gallons of water a year.
The average person spends approximately three years of their life sitting on the toilet.
Waiting for Hot Water Is Costing You How Much?
It’s quite typical in the American home to let the water run for a while, especially for a shower, “to let the water heat up.” The average home in the United States wastes about 9,000 gallons of water in this process. This equates to about 15% of a household’s annual heating costs are paid to heat up the water that goes down the drain without use!
Same, Same, But Different
Throughout time, and across cultures, the term for the “bathroom” has had many variations.
- Egyptians reportedly call it the “house of horrors.”
- The Ancient Romans called it the “necessarium.”
- In Tudor England, it was called the “house of privacy” or “privy” for short.
- The French have been known to call it “la chamber sent” which translates to “the smelly house.”
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain: Professional Plumbers in Denton, TX
bluefrog Plumbing is a national plumbing brand with a franchise location in Denton, TX. The Denton, TX location has been serving its community for several years, providing high-quality plumbing services. Our plumbers are friendly, professional, and do the job right the first time around. Turn to bluefrog Plumbing + Drain for services in emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, tankless water heaters, water heaters, leak detection and repair, water filtration, water softeners, frozen pipes repair, and more. Book an appointment today for any of your plumbing needs.